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Alternative Medicine and Hospice Care for LPN/RNs

Alternative Medicine and Hospice Care for LPN/RNs

Hollis Forester, RNC-NP

After being reminded of the value of yoga principles and other alternative therapies recently I began some research in the possibilities of these in relation to expanding the career horizons of the LPN and RN.

With the aging of the population, hospice care has become a valuable specialty in nursing care. Nurses are needed to provide basic nursing care, to oversee the program aides and to be the “eyes and ears” of the physician concerning the condition of the patient. And, of course, these are just the “jobs” of the nurse. Not enough praise can be given to the hospice nurse as she/he tends to the dying individual and their family. The passing from this life is a transition, for the patient and the family, and it demands respect, nurturing and quality of care equal to the most difficult cardiac surgery or neurosurgical procedure. This is also an area of nursing where alternative therapies can be used hand in hand with more traditional methods of palliative care.

Searching the internet has revealed to me several opportunities for nurses to become certified in alternative approaches to palliative and hospice care. Some of the traditions that are taught in these courses include:

• Yoga therapy with in-bed postures
• Reiki
• Aromatherapy
• Nutrition
• Education in death and dying awareness

Clinical experience is offered at large urban hospitals or in your current practice, if appropriate and proper over-sight is available. Learning takes place under the tutelage of expert and respected alternative therapy instructors. These programs are a departure from the typical traditional specialties available to nurses. This is an opportunity to encompass values of wellness and alternative medicine into your care of patients. It may also an opportunity for you to grow yourself for your career as well as for your spirituality. It is a way to give comfort and care to patients when they need it the most, at the transition from this life.

The Hospice Patients Alliance website has a very sweet quotation. It says, “May the path you choose bring peace and comfort to your loved one.” May the path you choose also bring that same to you.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    I too was a hospice nurse for two years and in the ten years that i have been a nurse that was the most rewarding time in my career. However you must learn to have an ear to listen and think before you speak. Word your statements in fact and not emotions. I found that while it was rewarding please have outside things to do and take time for yourself . I also found that it was hard to talk about my job due to the reaction that some had so i just said that i do homehealth. I believe that hospice should be added in study areas to become a nurse.

  • 1284415881_m_max50


    over 5 years ago


    I am a Hospice nurse and I can tell you that is rewarding. Hospice nursing is the only kind of nursing I want to do. I work at an 8 bedroom facility which sits in at the bottom of a hill, from the top of the drive you feel a sense of calm come over you. It is one of the most serene and spiritual places to be. We have deer, wild turkeys, birds of all kinds along with a pond stocked with fish and our gardens are incredible.
    For me to be with a patient and their family, while they are transitioning from this life to the next is such an honor.

  • 3cb2197_max50


    over 5 years ago


    I recently started volunteering @ my local Hospice & it has greatly enriched my life! I am thankful for this oppt!

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